Maybe Thomas thought he was righting the world, but I can’t see Jesus bellowing across the Temple because he was not on the “A-List” of singers.

Image of love that arrives

It’s a small church known for in-fighting. On the Elder Board is Thomas, a man knowledgeable in the Scriptures and a self-proclaimed evangelist. Everyone knows him for his beautiful singing voice. Did I mention Thomas makes sure everyone knows what the church policy handbook states? If the church has a rule breaker, Thomas is quickly on the hunt. Also, if you don’t know Thomas, then he makes sure you quickly know all about his latest accomplishments.  

And then there is Delores, an elderly woman who knows her basic Bible, but you could never catch her in a debate among scholars. Delores has a challenging life – multiple health problems, widowed early, and finances are scarce. Despites circumstances, Delores always shows up for church. She made a decision to love her fellow believers well, regardless of how inconvenient the situation is for her. Delores is love personified.

Unfortunately, everyone remembers the last congregational meeting: Thomas’ infamous melt down. He publicly let the congregation know how he was slighted by not being scheduled more frequently as a soloist. As his angry voice bellowed across the sanctuary, the humiliated music director sank lower and lower into the pew. Maybe Thomas thought he was righting the world, but I can’t see Jesus bellowing across the Temple because he was not on the “A-List” of singers.

In contrast to Thomas, Delores loves well. She works hard building relationships with her brothers and sisters in Christ, regardless of the cost to her personally. She takes to heart the teachings of the Apostle John in I John 4:7-21: Beloved, let us [unselfishly] love and seek the best for one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves [others] is born of God and knows God [through personal experience]. (God loved unselfishly, that is the same type of love we are to display one to another).” Thomas seems to fall into John’s description of “non-lovers”: “The one who does not love has not become acquainted with God [does not and never did know Him], for God is love.

God’s love always shows up. It shows up when believers attend a worship service and stay to have significant conversations with other believers. Church is not a chore to check off on their to-do list. This same love shows up when Christians volunteer in ministries and grow in relationships with other fellow servants. They encourage each other. The identical love shows up when believers get involved in a small group of believers for the purpose of community, even if a small group doesn’t easily fit in their schedule. “Show-up love” comes with a price. It can be very inconvenient.

If you do not have a “show-up” kind of love for your fellow believers, then maybe it is time for a heart check. Thomas thought a heart check consisted of public performance and rules. Jesus’ heart check goes far deeper.  Delores might not have all the answers, but Delores considers it a great privilege to love her brothers and sisters in Christ. Delores’ love always shows up. Are you a Thomas or a Delores? Is it heart check time?

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Author: Jacquelin Stoner

Jacqui is a writer, teacher, life coach, and an encourager. She walks alongside of individuals who need help navigating to the better place God has envisioned for their lives. She has discovered that God is central to genuine lasting life change.

Delight in helping women to discover wholeness in their "New Normal".